—I hope. It's a way to keep your characters (and their details) visible so you never have to stop writing and look something up. Ready? Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!
If you've been here before, I'm going to assume you've downloaded my free PDF on Novel creation. If you haven't, get it here. There's a wonderful section in the back that'll help you create a character bio. This is what you need right now. My PDF is free to download, print, and redistribute as you see fit, but please, do not sell it. It's meant to be a free tool for authors.
I tend to write character-driven fiction, so my buddies in the story are key to making things feel real to my readers. There's a requirement that I know those folks inside and out.
So, once I've decided on some details, how do I keep them straight without going back to that document every single time I want to give some goodies to the reader?
Well, this is where Google and a color printer are your friend! Do a search for your character (brown haired male with blue eyes, for example), and put it in a Word document. Size the image so it takes up most of the top. Beneath it, type out the character's height, weight, birthday, location, parents' names, and any other nuggets of fun you think you'll want to reference. Make those details BIG and BOLD.
Create one for each character, and print those reference sheets out.
Tack them on the wall behind your desk so you can see them!
Now, go do the same for locations (these can be general or scene-specific).
Boom! All that pretty info is right there for you. All you have to do is look up!
Here's an example of one of mine (for the upcoming novel I'm writing with the Fractured Glass ladies):
Doesn't that make it so freaking easy?
Because you aren't redistributing the images, you don't have to purchase them. These are for YOU, not the world. Even if they have a watermark on them, you can see the details well enough. If you decide to use the photo for something else, please, PLEASE be sure and purchase the full sized image and correct rights.
Same goes for location scenes.
If you take the time to do this, you'll never have an inconsistency issue, and your work will gain a ton of momentum!
Have you ever done anything like this? What do you use? Discuss!
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!